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Bringing my dad's car back to its former glory and beyond

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    Well I've been working from home for about a week now due to this Corona virus stuff so not much driving period, but yeah I can't help but take it out pretty much every day. There are still underlying issues listed above, but for the most part it's pretty reliable... although I'll say it's now much more suited to spirited back road stints than stop and go Bay Area traffic!
    2003 Z4 3.0 6-speed- Silver, 19's, daily driver
    1990 Silver 325i- Lowered on H&R OE Sports, e90 drop hats, KYB shocks, color matched rocker panels, 16" Emortal RS wheels on 205/50/16 tires... Currently getting a full refresh including an S52 swap!
    1997 Black Ford Probe GT- Stripped to 2220lbs, MS3X, Forged motor in midst of assembly... Dyno results and 1/4 mile times pending

    Comment


      this whole corona virus situations is just a bag of dump. I don't doubt the severity, but I also don't see them being able to contain the virus. Best solution, everyone gets the virus and forms antibodies... also the worst solution.

      Post some pics of that car doing some 11s on the street.

      Comment


        I have underlying health conditions which make it pretty risky for me. I don't *think* I'd die from it, but I'm not particularly interested in testing it!

        I'll definitely have some 1/4 mile slips in the next few months.
        2003 Z4 3.0 6-speed- Silver, 19's, daily driver
        1990 Silver 325i- Lowered on H&R OE Sports, e90 drop hats, KYB shocks, color matched rocker panels, 16" Emortal RS wheels on 205/50/16 tires... Currently getting a full refresh including an S52 swap!
        1997 Black Ford Probe GT- Stripped to 2220lbs, MS3X, Forged motor in midst of assembly... Dyno results and 1/4 mile times pending

        Comment


          Been a while since I posted last. I've since moved to a WAY cooler house, however the garage is the same size as the old one (BOO!). The upside is that it has a decent sized shed in the back that I've converted into my "fabrication shop". With this move my long time project Ford Probe GT will now be parted out, and I'm trying to decide if the motor will go with it. But let's focus back on the e30 shall we?

          Since I was able to establish a work space in the shed, I actually have enough space in the garage to fit a car! First project was to get the z4 some needed maintenance, which was to replace the VANOS seals with a Beisan set, replace spark plugs, ignition coils, and the VCG. I'd speculated for a while now that my VANOS seals were bad and since replacing them there really has been no difference in performance. Dang it! With that out of the way, the e30 went into the garage.

          So nice to once again have an enclosed space that allows me to remove parts and keep them off for more than a day! First action item was to replace my tails. I had purchased all red tail lights a while back to see if I would like them, and I did. Wanting to keep and use the original tail lights, I purchased some red night shades paint and decided to try my own hand at painting them all red as well. Gave em a quick wipe down/masking and applied the paint and they turned out great! Easy peasy!


          With a success under my belt, I decided to go ahead and tackle painting some other items on the car. The paint looks pretty decent from 15 feet out, but side mirrors, trunk lid, rear bumper, and roof are wearing much faster than the rest. Turns out you can't remove the roof, so I decided to leave it be for now ;). Took 400 grit to the mirrors and rear bumper to knock off the easy stuff, masked, wiped, primed and painted. They turned out pretty decent and the color match paint once again proves itself! I've got a 2k clear coat I plan on applying but probably need another can of color match to fully cover the rear trunk lid.

          Speaking of the rear trunk lid, the clear coat on that is peeling bad enough that I'm going to have to do some serious sanding to get it prepped, so that's going to be delayed a bit. As a result, the clear coating will have to wait, as it will go bad if I don't do all the pieces at once. Doing this work definitely reconfirmed that I really just don't have the patience to paint a car. Only have 1 can of color matched paint and think I'll probably have to buy another to fully cover the trunk lid. Plan is to do this quick refresh and gauge how the clear coat holds up... if it's good enough then it will be my short term fix until I'm situated with a large enough garage that I can permanently park the e30, then get a very nice professional job.






          While that's going on in the fab shop, I've been tearing down the top end of the motor to fix some other issues. I've got admit, all these little extra tasks and setbacks have really been a blessing in disguise. I had no issue removing the Z4 VANOS because the M54 is just so similar to the S52 and setting into the work on the e30 now is so routine. Have a few goals for the top end motor work:
          • VANOS seals- These were supposedly just replaced, which I believe, but the motor is just SO noisy between 1k rpm and 3k rpm. Sounds like a metal can filled with marbles. Praying the VANOS seals will fix it, but honestly don't have my hopes up.
          • Thermostat and fan temp switch- It was suggested I don't do lower temp versions of these from the start, and now I will agree I shouldn't have. The car runs at the 1/4 mark on the temp gauge, except at idle in traffic when it will slowly work it's way up to the 1/2 way mark (normal operating temp) at which point the fan kicks in and drops it back down to 1/3. It's just annoying to me to see that thing moving around so much, so they're getting replaced while this all goes down.
          • Water pump pulley- I had a UUC lightweight pulley on it but realized the matching lightweight PS pulley that came with the car was for an M54 (FUCK! I should have put that on the Z4!), so doesnt line up properly with the rest of the pullys. I had initially just installed the the LW water pump pulley and called it good, but the included longer belt was a bit too long and causes squeeling at idle. Annoying.
          Once that is complete she's going to go in the air for exhaust work. I told myself over and over that I care more about having a clean mellow exhaust than I do power, but here I am! My goal now is to make 260whp and I'll definitely need exhaust to do so. Ended up buying a very lightly used set of Raceland headers locally and pieced together the piping to build a system that starts at dual 2.25" piping and merges very quickly to a single 3" pipe all the way back. I want it to flow but I also want it to be quiet, so to accomplish that I'm using the longest straight through 3" muffler that Magnaflow makes, which will sit in the mid section. I also purchased another Varex muffler (officially obsessed with these) which is 3" and will sit in the rear.








          As it is my exhaust sounds great with the varex muffler bypass open and dead quiet with it closed. In this version I'm hoping to achieve a great sound with the bypass closed, and beastly with it open. We shall see!
          2003 Z4 3.0 6-speed- Silver, 19's, daily driver
          1990 Silver 325i- Lowered on H&R OE Sports, e90 drop hats, KYB shocks, color matched rocker panels, 16" Emortal RS wheels on 205/50/16 tires... Currently getting a full refresh including an S52 swap!
          1997 Black Ford Probe GT- Stripped to 2220lbs, MS3X, Forged motor in midst of assembly... Dyno results and 1/4 mile times pending

          Comment


            Well I'll be darned...

            Spent the day yesterday working on the top/front end motor work. Purchased a new serpentine belt to tie up the water pump pulley, thermostat, temp switch work, then worked on getting the VANOS off. I'd considered selling the crankshaft timing block kit and so glad I didn't, I think that's going to be a keeper going forward. Got the VANOS off and took it to the fab shop to swap the seal. I was really hoping there'd be an obvious issue when pulling the VANOS apart but there definitely wasn't. It still fit very tight in it's bore and there wasn't any twisting or brittleness to the seal. Figured what the heck, I've already done all this work, I'll just replace them anyways. Sure enough, both inner and outer seal were super pliable and obviously brand new, but while I was messing around with it I noticed a ton of axial play in the piston bearing. Also saw that the splined shaft would spin very freely. If you gave it a hard push it would spin probably 10 rotations before coming to a stop. hmm.

            I had accidentally ordered the anti-rattle kit, but planned to sell it because there was none of the classic VANOS rattle going on. Seeing how loose it was, however, I didn't thin there was any possible way the bearing ring had been replaced. Unfortunately I didn't have the correct socket for removing disassembling everything, but I did have a vice and impact gun, so I decided to risk it. Got it off no problem with a regular 18mm socket and pulled her all apart. Removed the ring and sure enough, there wasn't the "BS" etched into the side that all Beisan Systems kits have.


            Reassembled and tested axial play, which was much better, but the much more marked difference was in the rotation of the splined shaft. So much tighter than before! It wouldn't even go a quarter of a turn with a hard push... you'd have to hold both end is in your hand and turn (no binding of course, just resistance to rotation due to preload, as is recommended for S52 motors and motors with aftermarket cams) to get it to go.

            Ok, this is getting too long. Reinstalled, fixed a cooling leak I found, and gave her a start. As mentioned in the last post, I was quite skeptical this would actually fix the problem, but it did! No more marbles in the tin can! Sooooo happy about that. Let her warm up and sure enough, temp gauge came right up to center. I will note that the fan didnt kick on, so I'll have to look into that, but feeling good about the progress so far!

            Oh I also finished sanding down the rear trunk lid. As you can see in the picture below, there were 3 major areas where the clear coat was peeling. Waiting on more paint to come in so I can finish up.


            And with this finished up, time to move on to the exhaust...
            Last edited by dadsbmw; 04-26-2020, 12:51 PM.
            2003 Z4 3.0 6-speed- Silver, 19's, daily driver
            1990 Silver 325i- Lowered on H&R OE Sports, e90 drop hats, KYB shocks, color matched rocker panels, 16" Emortal RS wheels on 205/50/16 tires... Currently getting a full refresh including an S52 swap!
            1997 Black Ford Probe GT- Stripped to 2220lbs, MS3X, Forged motor in midst of assembly... Dyno results and 1/4 mile times pending

            Comment


              Worked on the exhaust yesterday and today. Magically most of the front half hit together without any sort of modification. I literally cut about 3 inches off one pipe and that's it. Currently have everything tacked together to about the rear axle. Waiting to get rear muffler hangers to mount the rear muffler, then run the exhaust to the muffler and finally out the rear bumper.

              The mid muffler is a Borla straight through, that's 5" tall by 8" wide which fits decently well in the stock routing, but to keep volumes down its 30" long. Muffler per usual is a Varex straight through that can be turned into a turbo style muffler with the push of a button. Hoping to be aggressive and super high flowing when I want, and quiet and restricted around town.








              2003 Z4 3.0 6-speed- Silver, 19's, daily driver
              1990 Silver 325i- Lowered on H&R OE Sports, e90 drop hats, KYB shocks, color matched rocker panels, 16" Emortal RS wheels on 205/50/16 tires... Currently getting a full refresh including an S52 swap!
              1997 Black Ford Probe GT- Stripped to 2220lbs, MS3X, Forged motor in midst of assembly... Dyno results and 1/4 mile times pending

              Comment


                Awesome! Cant wait for sound clips
                Simon
                Current Car:
                -2003 Mini Cooper R50
                Previous Car Count : 24 ... and climbing...

                Make R3V Great Again -2020

                Comment


                  Me too! I finished welding the front half of the exhaust and reinstalled to get a listen of it with just the Magnaflow and honestly, I'm concerned it'll be too quiet! Don't get me wrong, it's loud, but only kinda loud. It'll be way quieter when I get the Varex on, even with the bypass open. I guess we'll see!
                  Last edited by dadsbmw; 04-29-2020, 08:48 PM.
                  2003 Z4 3.0 6-speed- Silver, 19's, daily driver
                  1990 Silver 325i- Lowered on H&R OE Sports, e90 drop hats, KYB shocks, color matched rocker panels, 16" Emortal RS wheels on 205/50/16 tires... Currently getting a full refresh including an S52 swap!
                  1997 Black Ford Probe GT- Stripped to 2220lbs, MS3X, Forged motor in midst of assembly... Dyno results and 1/4 mile times pending

                  Comment


                    Originally posted by dadsbmw View Post
                    Definitely do not do the x3.

                    Mine was black because I painted it, twas silver when it first arrived. This thing had issues all over the place... the only thing that was actually correct about it was the location of the brake line ports on the master cylinder. The mounting bolts were too narrow and required slotting, the shaft for the clevis wasn't long enough (true for the e90/e92 as well) and required a bolt to be welded on, the diameter was too big (not everywhere, just towards the firewall, but still interfered) for the IM to fit at all. The e90 just fit and worked so much better. Bending and flaring the custom lines really wasn't that difficult, only cost about $125 extra, and will put an extra tool in your belt.
                    how much smaller is the e90 one?
                    i have the x3 one waiting on putting it in but i don't want to slot the mounting holes and then if its too big
                    like what you experienced i have to put in the e90 one.

                    weird that it clears with some and doesn't with others.

                    Comment


                      Took a quick video of the exhaust as it sits. Sure it's loud, but it'll be way quieter with the new muffler.


                      Also mounted the rear muffler today. Hope to have it all buttoned up tomorrow!


                      2003 Z4 3.0 6-speed- Silver, 19's, daily driver
                      1990 Silver 325i- Lowered on H&R OE Sports, e90 drop hats, KYB shocks, color matched rocker panels, 16" Emortal RS wheels on 205/50/16 tires... Currently getting a full refresh including an S52 swap!
                      1997 Black Ford Probe GT- Stripped to 2220lbs, MS3X, Forged motor in midst of assembly... Dyno results and 1/4 mile times pending

                      Comment


                        I'm loving the progress on this. The exhaust look good. Any plans for a different tip or something that extends slightly past the valence? Any interesting ideas for placement of the muffler's switch?

                        Comment


                          I'll be doing a similar tip to what it had before, which you can see in previous pictures. Trying to keep it looking close to to the stock exhaust. Just waiting till the end to do it, as I want to make sure the exhaust is fully in place before aligning the tips with the bumper.

                          Switch has already been placed, as I've had this style setup for a while now... just moving up to larger piping and from a 2.5" muffler to a 3.0". Used a stock window switch in one of the blanks in the center console above the radio, to open and close the bypass
                          2003 Z4 3.0 6-speed- Silver, 19's, daily driver
                          1990 Silver 325i- Lowered on H&R OE Sports, e90 drop hats, KYB shocks, color matched rocker panels, 16" Emortal RS wheels on 205/50/16 tires... Currently getting a full refresh including an S52 swap!
                          1997 Black Ford Probe GT- Stripped to 2220lbs, MS3X, Forged motor in midst of assembly... Dyno results and 1/4 mile times pending

                          Comment


                            Pretty much finished her up this afternoon. Ran out of welding gas last night but luckily found a shop that was open today. Took a little trip to pick that up and also dropped off my wheels to get a free balancing at Americas Tire.

                            Came home and finished up the last of the welding and reinstalled everything to give it a listen. As suspected, it's too quiet. The Varex has 2 modes as previously pointed out, open (straight through) and closed (think turbo muffler). In the open position, it sounds how I'd like it to in the closed position. Right now the closed position is basically useless, as there's no reason to ever close it!

                            Rear half mocked up


                            Everything fully welded


                            And installed


                            Still waiting to do the rear tip... want to finalize everything before committing.

                            Took her for a quick drive to see how it sounds. Have also confirmed, by getting the tires balanced, that there's definitely a vibration in the driveshaft. Oh, and it now pops out of 3rd pretty much every time I go WOT, so that's fun. But man, she's a quick one! Not only is 1st useless, but 2nd is as well! It will seriously break the tires loose and spin at WOT past 4.5k in 2nd. Not dropping the clutch, just rolling into power. DEFINITELY need some wider/better tires!

                            Quick video of everything in the open position. For some reason the muffler won't close, gonna have to look into that... opened last night without issue. Will soon have a driving video similar to my last, but need to get the trunk lid, bumper, and side mirrors on first. This idiot company that I ordered paint from has taken over a week to even ship it. So frustrating.


                            Camera is a bit too close which has a bad outcome with the sound, but gives you an idea. Should have good speakers/headphones (aka not your laptop/phone speakers) to listen, as it's very deep and requires good bass to hear correctly!
                            Last edited by dadsbmw; 05-04-2020, 08:47 AM.
                            2003 Z4 3.0 6-speed- Silver, 19's, daily driver
                            1990 Silver 325i- Lowered on H&R OE Sports, e90 drop hats, KYB shocks, color matched rocker panels, 16" Emortal RS wheels on 205/50/16 tires... Currently getting a full refresh including an S52 swap!
                            1997 Black Ford Probe GT- Stripped to 2220lbs, MS3X, Forged motor in midst of assembly... Dyno results and 1/4 mile times pending

                            Comment


                              Nice project! Your old man would have been proud.

                              Check your driveline/giubo bolts, the extra power might have snapped one; happened to me (with less power). Car sounds pretty great as is. You sure you want it louder? Probably get there by deleting the mid-muffler. I had a single rear Magnaflow on my last engine (with cat), and it sounded really good. My current setup has two smaller Magnaflows with no cat, has a higher pitch snarl, and if I had a longer commute, might be annoyingly loud.
                              '91 325i

                              Comment


                                Driveshaft has been taken off a couple times since the initial install and vibrates every time, so I don't think it's the bolts. Pretty sure I either have it slightly misaligned from when I swapped out the center bearing, or the adapter which allows the stock 325i shaft to mate to the e36 M3 guibo is causing an imbalance.

                                In terms of it being louder, this muffler can get loud or quiet at the push of a button. It's currently on the "loud" setting, and making the noise you heard above. I think I'd be much happier having that volume on the quiet setting, and something more aggressive on the loud setting.
                                2003 Z4 3.0 6-speed- Silver, 19's, daily driver
                                1990 Silver 325i- Lowered on H&R OE Sports, e90 drop hats, KYB shocks, color matched rocker panels, 16" Emortal RS wheels on 205/50/16 tires... Currently getting a full refresh including an S52 swap!
                                1997 Black Ford Probe GT- Stripped to 2220lbs, MS3X, Forged motor in midst of assembly... Dyno results and 1/4 mile times pending

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